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Mary Ellen Gardino
mary ellen gardino
Mary Ellen Gardino, 1950-2013 - photo by Contributed/Valley Funeral Home & Crematory

Mary Ellen Gardino, 64, passed away on Nov. 4, 2015 shortly after viewing the heavens at Mauna Kea observatory on the island of Hawaii.

Mary Ellen was born Dec. 16, 1950 in Waukegan, IL. Following high school she attended Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. After marrying her husband Lee in 1972, they decided to take an adventure and move to Alaska where they would eventually raise their family.  She was a dedicated and inspiring elementary school teacher at Birchwood ABC, Wonewoc Elementary, and Chugiak Elementary before retiring in May 2013 after nearly 40 years of teaching. She enjoyed hiking, camping, reading, spending time with her family, watching Fox News and spending time in the Hawaiian Islands.

Additionally, Mary Ellen was a proud owner of a piece of the Green Bay Packers.  Go Pack Go!

Anyone who knew Mary Ellen would tell you about her pride for her family, especially her grandchildren, and how her beautiful smile could light up even the darkest room.  She was an amazing mother and Nonnie to her grandchildren.  She leaves behind a legacy of love that her family will carry through the generations.

Mary Ellen is survived by her loving husband of 43 years, Lee Gardino; her son Dan (Nina) Gardino; daughter Jennifer (Clayton) McCaul; granddaughters Madeline and Savannah; grandsons Jake and Drew all of Wasilla, AK; brother Bob Osmond of Fairfield, IL; 9 brother and sister in laws, and  15 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bernard and Genevieve Osmond, and brother Tim Osmond.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Michael Catholic Church, 432 E. Fireweed Ave. in Palmer on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 at 1 p.m. Interment followed at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wasilla.

Donations can be made in Mary Ellen’s name to the American Heart Association.

Arrangements were under the direction of Valley Funeral Home, Wasilla Chapel.